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What’s New in Flutter 2.8 Version: Features, Updates, Changes and Improvements

Written by
Hemendra Singh on December 23, 2021
updated on: December 24, 2021
What’s New in Flutter 2.8 Version: Features, Updates, Changes and Improvements

While the holiday mood is all into the atmosphere, Google has announced Flutter 2.8 as a present to the tech world. With a bundle of new and exhilarating features and upgrades, Flutter is nearer to a more stabilized desktop support along with the release of Flame- a 2D game engine that is stealing the show. It is definitely an indispensable tech-treat that is going to distill the experience for both web developers as well as flutter mobile developers.

Now let’s meet each and everything that Google has introduced in the new features of Flutter.

What is Flutter?

Flutter, a framework by Google, backs web, mobile as well as desktop development in a single SDK which eventually frees developers to concentrate on what to create. It eradicates the problematic stage where they have to first decide on the platform for app development they want to work up to. Flutter comes with a high-performance and a high-productivity framework and it features a single codebase that helps developers encompass a number of platforms for app development.

The foremost idea behind the mechanics of flutter’s functionality is to change the way the apps are developed. It aims to bring web, desktop as well as mobile to a common place where the development process is embedded into a single toolkit. It eventually gives the freedom to developers to concentrate on what they really want to create devotedly instead of bounding them to first deciding on which platform they should be targeting. It is the ease and efficiency of flutter which makes flutter developers sought-after in the market.

Flutter gets developers to offer a sturdy performance and lets them drive their focus on coming with an ingenious outcome. With a high-productivity framework, it gets easy to cut off the inner loop for developers. Also, they become able to use one codebase to target a number of platforms as well as form factors. If you are planning a startup, read these 7 reasons to choose flutter for startups.

Flutter 2.8 Latest Features and a Power-Packed Game

flutter 2.8 features
Flutter 2.8 release has come not with one but a multitude of new features that are a wonderful upgrade to the existing flutter framework. One of the notable parameters where this upgrade has focused on is none other than the amplified pace of game design and development with the robust one of all game engines- Flame.

Yes. The most important new feature in this update has to be the 1.0 release of Flame. It is a 2D game engine running on top of Flutter. As stated by Google in an announcement, Flame has come with everything that one needs to build games quickly. It also involves core primitives like a component or object system, collision detection, sprites and images, a world camera, and gesture/ input support along with an effects system. The game engines can also help you with bridge packages that connect and integrate with other libraries.

There is no denying the need for optimization that is required in exercising any complex application as it helps make sure that all the underlying libraries and hardware are in full swing too. It also includes startup performance that suffers a constraint due to initialization costs, graphics rendering, and memory usage.

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Google Play, one of the Google apps, is from those examples that show a way to how flutter can become more power-rich of a performant than ever for developers and unfold a better toolset to direct profiling as well as optimization of apps before them. And flutter 2.8 is an exemplary result that tells you that it is time to get started with seeing more accelerated apps and less consumption of memory. You might be interested to know the steps to install flutter 2.0.

Flutter 2.8 New Updates and Improvements in 2021

The recent updates in Flutter have enabled a far easier link apps to the set of back-end services that include Google Cloud and Firebase. It introduces production quality support to Google Ads and some eminent features to the camera along with embedded web plugins.

Apart from that, the release has Dart 2.15 which brings noteworthy improvements to concurrency. Then you have to pay attention to another upgrade that has come in the face of new language features such as constructor tear-offs and improved numerations, along with the optimizations that promise a reduction of 10% in memory utilization.

While discussing the new improvements in a flutter, we have to appreciate the add-on with a sign-in widget that incorporates Firebase in order to handle authentication. If developers are using this widget, then they don’t need to spend time stressing on all the edge cases of sign-in like reset password user flows or two-factor authentication. They also don’t have to worry about the complex sides of supporting Google, Apple, Facebook or Twitter as an auth provider.

Developers can now explore Flame better by extending it with other packages and integrating it with more libraries. You can, for instance, merge Flame with Forge2D, Rive, and Fire Atlas. If you combine Flame with other packages, you will be able to enjoy a 2D game development service. So yes. Flame is a must to check out for those who want to revel in their own game, use the best of the game engine and the new sides of game development.

Features like the ones brought out this year which involve working on the very core foundations of Flutter are undoubtedly sturdy enough to bring transformation in the way developers build apps. It will also revolutionize the system by merging the development speed that’s there in low-code solutions with the power and flexibility of a full UI framework. You might be like to read the flutter 1.22 update.

Latest Version of Flutter 2.8 Changes to Look Out For

flutter 2.8 changes infographic

If you would like to go into details and explore the depth of changes in flutter new releases, then keep on reading this section.

1. Game Engine with Flame

Majorly, developers have this belief that flutter is an ideal suit for app development but little does it ever come to mind how there are a number of developers who are working flutter into practicing game development as well. Developers from multiple communities don’t forget this sound-good advantage offered by flutter with hardware-accelerated graphics support.

Flutter has come with the release of Flame 1.0 which is a 2D game engine. Flame offers you all that you require in order to build a game steadily. Flame also involves a component system along with animated sprites and images, a world camera, collision detection, and a myriad of other features.

2. Flutter DevTools

With this release, a new “Enhance Tracing” feature has entered the world of Flutter. It will be used in addressing debugging issues. It will also back developers in resolving UI stemming problems. If tracing features are enabled, there will be the inclusion of new segments for rendering objects laid out or painted, widgets built.

Furthermore, new updates in DevTools bring support to help profile the app’s performance. This profile includes CPU samples that are from DartVM initialization in order to provide the first flutter frame. Flutter app developers will be able to see the “AppStartUp” user tag as selected for the profile. To see this, all they have to do is just press the “App Start Profile” button which will start the app start profile.

There’s more to flutter DevTools features in flutter 2.8. Developers will now be able to choose the same user tag filter from the options of user tags available in order to load their app’s launch profile.

3. GA and Flutter Ads

This new release has also brought support for five ad formats and it will integrate the backing for Ad Manager as well as AdMob. Apart from that, it also has a beta version in a new mediation feature that will be used in the optimization of ad performance. Developers can head to the official website and explore more about this Google Ads and Flutter app integration along with many other monetization options.

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4. Firebase and DartPad

Developers will now also have the freedom of using Firebase from within DartPad and this will be possible with the help of the initialization of FlutterFire. The Firebase support of DartPad comes with the core API, authentication, as well as Firestore.

The better news is that developers can hope to hear of more Firebase services that are likely to appear on DartPad anytime soon. On top of that, there’s one more thing that FlutterFire support makes it possible with DartPad and that is the ability for developers to use embedded instances of DartPad right in their documents.

5. Web platform views

Another thing to experience with the new Flutter version release is the improved functionality of platform views for Flutter web. Platform views enable flutter developers to host UI components. Flutter web accentuates the same by using the HtmlElementView widget. This widget will allow developers to host all HTML elements within their Flutter web apps. If users incorporate the web versions of the video_player plugin or the google_maps_flutter plugin, they are using the platform views by default.

In the last version of the framework, a new canvas used to come up as soon as developers would embed the platform view. Besides that, another canvas was to be added every time someone added the platform view. This only added to costly affairs given that such extra canvases are way expensive to create as every canvas features the size of an entire window.

This release has breathed life into the reuse of canvases that were created for previous platform views. Therefore, individuals will now only have to tackle the cost just once in the whole lifetime of an app instead of worrying about the cost heck of times every single second. It also means that developers will now be able to enjoy multiple HtmlElementView instances in their web app and that too without any impact on performance.

6. Elimination of the Dev Channel

Channels in flutter look into the pace at which the Flutter framework and engine can change on one’s development machine. With the stable version, it is easy to see the tiniest churn while the master shows the biggest churn. It has been found out that many developers have stopped accenting the updates in the development channel, thanks to the constraint in the resource department.

Only a few Flutter developers out there actually incorporate development channels. As a result, developers decided to get started with the process of discontinuing the development channel officially. The reason behind this step is that Flutter engineers devote a lot of their time and effort in order to maintaining it.

To drop the channel means giving the Flutter team room to spend time as well as energy on other important aspects. Developers can also choose the channel they would like to pick for the Flutter channel command. These options are-

7. Enhancements in DartPad

Then there is something to see in DartPad as well. This release did not bring improvements in DartPad that are all about supporting a big number of packages. The list of such packages includes characters, block, collection, and google_fonts and not to skip- there are 23 in total. Additionally, the DartPad team will keep on adding new packages.

One more interesting new DartPad feature that looks really cool has come with the release. The latest stable version always runs on DartPad and also, developers will be able to use the New Channel menu that’s where the status bar is in order to select the new beta channel release as well as the last stable version that’s known as the “old channel”. Learn how to create a flutter app?

Summary

The multi-faceted framework is famous for all the obvious reasons. First of all, it has all the platforms supported and besides that, it has a lot to do with game engines. Some of the pioneering apps that use flutter on iOS include eBay, BMW, Philips, SHEIN, Greggs, and WeChat. When it comes to the mention of game engines, it is worth noting that one of the most beloved games PUBG has witnessed the flutter to be an ideal fit for UI screens.

The key focus of this release of the new Flutter version is all about the improvisation on the mobile performance front. Not only that, the latest amplification of performance boosters has made it easier than ever to count on flutter for game development with the notable add-ons and updates in terms of the game engine.

Flutter 2.8, as well as Dart 2.15, are available out there which leads us to believe that it should be a cool-headed upgrade for the apps that are already existing and running the oldie version. This release gives us an impression that the flutter team has devoted their experimental momentum to create a new version that boosts developer productivity. There are going to be some really worth-experiencing workarounds for developers to get to the ultimate result faster than ever. Here is the list of the top 10 flutter app development companies in India.

Hemendra Singh

My name is Hemendra Singh. I am a Director and Co-founder of The NineHertz, IT Consulting Company. I am having a keen interest in the latest trends and technologies that are emerging in different domains. Being an entrepreneur in the field of the IT sector, it becomes my responsibility to aid my audience with the knowledge of the latest trends in the market.